BERN public transport operator Bernmobil has begun using the first of 27 Tramlink LRVs supplied by Stadler under a contract awarded at the end of 2019. The introduction of the new vehicles follows a test phase lasting several months.

The first Stadler Tramlink vehicles were officially handed over to Bernmobil and presented to the public at an open day at Bolligenstrasse tram depot on October 28, with regular services beginning on November 1.

Bernmobil awarded Stadler a contract in September 2019 to supply up to 50 Tramlink metre-gauge LRVs, including a firm order for 20 bi-directional LRVs and seven uni-directional vehicles to be delivered between 2023 and 2025.

Stadler overcame competition from CAF and Siemens to secure the contract from the tender launched in October 2018. Bernmobil confirmed that Stadler’s offer included lower acquisition and maintenance costs.

The vehicles will initially operate on Line 7, before being used from 2024 to replace the ageing 12 Vevey and nine RBS trams on Line 6, which are reaching the end of their service life. They will also provide additional capacity for the extension of Line 9 to Kleinwabern.

Bernmobil's new Tramlink LRVs have been designed to meet the Swiss capital’s mobility needs and infrastructure requirements, with capacity for up to 260 passengers per vehicle, including 56 seats in the bi-directional vehicles and 71 seats in the uni-directional vehicles. The LRVs feature a barrier-free interior, wooden seats and large multifunctional areas for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

The vehicles also incorporate a modern passenger information system, rear cameras instead of rear mirrors, an efficient air conditioning system that works by measuring the CO2 in the passenger compartment to minimise energy consumption, and a brake assistance system for collision avoidance. The Tramlink also features innovative bogies with axles designed to allow smooth and comfortable operation through the small radius curves in the narrow streets of its historic centre.

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